US imposes new round of sanctions on Iran amid COVID-19 outbreak

TEHRAN, Mar. 18 (MNA) – Washington announced a fresh round of sanctions on Tehran as a continuation of its so-called ‘maximum pressure’ campaign while Iran is grappling with the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington has put the names of three Iranian entities in the blacklist for engaging in what he called “significant transactions” to trade in Iranian petrochemicals. He did not announce any name but said that Iranian armed forces social security and its head are among those blacklisted for investing in sanctioned entities.

Also in a separate statement, the US Commerce Department said that it would sanctions a number of entities, including five Iranian scientists, for helping Tehran with its nuclear program.

Reinstatement of sanctions came after the Trump administration unilaterally walked out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018 and started a campaign against Iran dubbed ‘maximum pressure’.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the US to lift the sanctions it has illegally re-imposed on humanitarian supplies to Iran.

While the countries are trying to boost cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, the US still continues its unilateral sanctions against Iran which have affected the country’s power to contain the outbreak.

The new sanctions come as China and Russia, in particular, have urged the US to remove its sanctions on Tehran since the restrictions could interfere with Iran’s efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The pandemic has affected over 160 countries so far, infecting 180,000 people and killing more than 7,400 others. According to the latest announcement on Tuesday, the number of infections in Iran has hit 16,169. 5,389 patients have recovered while 988 others have lost their lives so far.

MNA/ 4881369

News Code 156849

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